I totally relate. It’s so humbling!!! You have this little kid – a two-year-old – who is completely controlling you. And you just don’t know what to do.
So here are some tops tips to managing toddler tempter tantrums and coming out with your sanity intact!
1. Be Consistent
Don’t be wishy-washy. You decide what it is that’s important to you and what’s not. If for example, your 3-year-old is not allowed to put his feet on the table, be consistent about it. Don’t half the time let him jump on the table or have his feet on the table and sometimes you don’t care.
Many a tantrum will arise because last time you let… and this time you don’t. So figure out what’s allowed and what’s not and try to stay consistent. That way your child will get clarity on what’s acceptable and what’s not.
2. Set Yourself Up Technically For Success
If there is something that your child is going to touch the cabinet under the sink and there are things there that he shouldn’t be getting to, set yourself up technically for success and lock that cabinet or move the stuff from under the sink that they shouldn’t be touching.
There’s absolutely no point in having to repeat ‘Don’t Touch!’ over and over again all day long. Just be smart about it and put things away so your toddler can’t get to them.
Another great example would be brushing your toddler’s hair. Ever had a temper tantrum erupt because your toddler doesn’t want her hair brushed? Yup. Relate to that one. What would setting yourself up technically for success look like here? Getting a brush like the Knot Genie Detangling Brush so you won’t pull her hair when you brush it. That will make for a more pleasant hair brushing experience for both your and your toddler and you’ll find that such temper tantrums will die down.
4. Few Words. Be Clear.
Toddlers and young kids only have a small vocabulary and it’s hard for them to listen to you go on and on while you explain something. Just use a few words: “Mommy said no feet on the table.” And you can just go about your day.
Then if you want to give a reminder you simply so ‘no feet’ or ‘off the table’.
Say what you need done using only a few word without rambling on and on. That is how toddlers understand: few words – clarity.
5. Move on and Distract
Distraction is the absolute best game when it comes to kids. It works with older kids, too. I have lots of ways to distract older kids.
When my oldest was young he was obsessed with garbage trucks. When the garbage truck would come, he would dance. He’d be so excited and he’d run to the window, waiting to see the garbage truck get to our house.
Now whenever he would have a temper tantrum, I pretended to hear the garbage truck and we would go running to the window. We would look for it, listen for it and then when he realized that it wasn’t there, I would suggest to go get his garbage truck toy. I totally distracted the kid and he would totally forgot what exactly it was that he was upset about.
6. Don’t Let the Temper Tantrum Bother You
This is where most of us fall prey to giving in to our kids. It’s because it bothers us. They scream, cry, kick and lie on the floor. After a while it gets to us. It’s annoying to listen to, it’s aggravating on your nerves. Especially if you have guests over or you are in a public place. Temper tantrums are just plain frustrating.
You have to make up your mind that it does not bother you.
It does not reflect anything on you.
It does not have anything to do with your parenting skills.
This is a normal part of raising kids that they have tantrums and they need to learn boundaries. Kids need to learn ‘yes’ and ‘no’ and that can be hard to learn.
You have to make up in your mind that it doesn’t bother you. The more that it bothers you, the more they like having tantrums, because then they can press your buttons and sometimes you give in.
Just play it cool.
This summer I was visiting my parents. One day our car was not available and my mother needed a bit of a rest and she asked me to take the kids out for a while. We had to do some shoe shopping and grocery shopping so I figured we’ll just go out and take the bus.
The kids thought the trip on the us was exciting and fun. We spent a long time (!!!) buying shoes and then we went over to the grocery store to get a few items that we needed. Now by this time, my youngest, who was 4, was tired and cranky. It was very hot, and he was probably a little hungry at this point.
It was like a million degrees outside. We did not have a car and I had 6 kids with me.
That’s when the temper tantrum erupted.
We went into the store where it was nice and cool and my 4-year-old was having a full-fledged temper tantrum. Two of my kids were telling him that they’ll get him a treat. But I said “No, he can have a treat when he stops having his temper tantrum.”
We got some looks and stares, and I even had a lady come at me and give me her parenting advice because she knows better, and I should “take this child out of the store to wait outside”. I said, “That’s a lovely idea but it’s a million degrees out there and I can’t do that to my child.”
She had such an opinion and went on and on about how she parented her children and how she knows better and how I need to get a grip on my children better.
I just kept my cool. Thanked her for her advice and moved on with my temper tantruming child. Eventually he saw that his temper tantrum wasn’t getting him anywhere and he stopped.
You just can’t get aggravated. No matter what other people think. Be confident that what you are doing is right for your child and don’t let the tantrum get to you. Watch Emotionally Intelligent Discipline – What To Do When The Kids Misbehave
Kids grow up and we have more stories to tell about these hysterical situations that we get into. Now this trip to the store is a family story.
Be confident in what you are doing and stick to what you think is best – in your gut. Even amidst the worst temper tantrums.
Sometimes it is to take your child out of the store, get in the car and go home. And sometimes it’s just to deal with what’s going on, have a smile on your face, be confident and don’t give in in the wrong times.
You’ll do great.